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Food allergens: The basics everyone should be aware of

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Food allergies caused by food allergens can make life difficult for many individuals. They have to be aware of everything they consume as well as knowing who is consuming foods that cause reactions to you when others eat them as well. This can be tricky and dangerous at the same time.

According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network there are eight foods that are the culprits for most food allergies. They are responsible for ninety percent of allergic reactions related for food.

Eight main food allergens:

  • Peanuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

One important process if you suffer from food allergies caused by one or more of the above allergens is to never cross-contaminate foods. Make sure that the work surfaces such as a kitchen counter or cutting board are washed thoroughly if any of these foods are prepared before introducing another food item. Prepare different foods one at a time so that no residue, juice or food bits transfer from one dish to another. You must also wash your hands and forearms as well before starting to prepare another dish. Touching these allergens and another food can transfer to the next dish and even though there may only be a trace that adhered to your skin it can still cause a serious reaction to another.

If you suffer from allergies caused by food allergens and are under a physician’s care always carry your medication or epinephrine pen with you at all times. Tell friends and family how this life-saving tool works in case you are unable to use it yourself. Doing so can save your life!

Wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace with the foods you are allergic to on it. If something happens outside the family and friends unit EMT workers will notice it immediately and start treatment knowing why you are having a reaction and what caused the condition you are suffering from when a stranger calls for medical assistance.

Keep a letter from your physician with your insurance card to verify your allergies and if the hospital looks for your card if you are unable to they will have the medical information readily available to start immediate treatment for you.

Knowing the simple basics is essential when food allergens cause allergic reactions!

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

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